Media Literacy Now is proud to be partnering with Media Education Lab on a new research initiative that provides free access to the Media Literacy Implementation (MLI) Index, a validated survey research instrument that measures the prevalence of media literacy education in schools and communities.

“By establishing data that serves as a baseline and a benchmark on which to develop a solid academic program, school leaders can measure their progress over time,” said Erin McNeill, founder and president of Media Literacy Now. “The MLI Index gives school leaders a systematic way to measure the inclusion of media literacy education across the curriculum at the elementary and secondary levels.”

The MLI Index was developed by University of Rhode Island Professor Renee Hobbs and colleagues and has already been adapted and used in schools to identify students’ understanding of and exposure to media literacy education. In one case, Gracie Gilligan, a high school senior at Maynard Public Schools in Massachusetts, partnered with Media Literacy Now and Media Education Lab to adapt the survey and administer to more than 500 students in grades 4-12. Maynard Public Schools teachers and administrators supported the effort and are now even more firmly committed to media literacy education as a result of the survey insights.

“School and community leaders can finally get a clear picture of how many students in their community are getting opportunities for media literacy learning,” said Professor Renee Hobbs. “Once school and community leaders know what’s happening at the ground level, this data gives them a good picture of what curricular areas represent current strengths and where continuing improvement is needed.”

When school districts who use the survey agree to share their data with researchers, they get access to a digital survey that makes it easy for them to collect data from students as well as community stakeholders, including school leaders, librarians, educators, parents, community members, and elected public officials. For an additional fee, researchers will analyze the data to identify areas of strength and areas of growth needed to provide a comprehensive approach that integrates media literacy into the curriculum. School and community leaders can also receive professional support from Media Literacy Now to help inform the local community about the media literacy implementation initiative and use data to assess their progress in curriculum implementation. 

Learn more about the Maynard Public Schools survey results. 

If you’re interested in adapted the MLI Index to use in your schools, contact us to get started.


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